Say hello to the newest Celtic, Jason “The JET” Terry. Terry, a 34 year old shooting guard who most recently played with the Dallas Mavericks (including winning the 2011 NBA Championship over the Miami Heat) is reportedly joining the Boston Celtics and will sign the mid-level exception with my hometown team when he can officially sign on July 11. Terry brings along an impressive resume, and can be an electric offensive player when he sees fit, so news of this signing makes me extremely happy to be a Celtics fan. Terry has been one of my favorite players to watch since his days at the University of Arizona and he should be a quality role player off the bench for the C’s this season. He also becomes even more valuable if the Celtics are also able to resign the ever-talented Ray Allen (which is still a possibility, even with this signing).
For those who don’t watch as much basketball as I do, let me give you the quick rundown on Jason Terry. He’s an elite shooter who is comfortable coming off the bench (he won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2009), and he’s made the fourth most career three pointers of anyone in NBA history. He also has a very quality mid-range game (a lost art in today’s game) and he frequently pulls up for that shot if it’s available. As a defender, Terry is not the best, but he is adequate and surprisingly he has averaged over a steal per game during his career. He’s sneaky good in that respect. Terry also has playoff experience, as he’s been to the playoffs eight times in his NBA career so far (including two NBA Finals appearances), and during the 2011 playoffs he tied Rex Chapman, Vince Carter and Ray Allen by hitting 9 three-pointers in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers (he went 9-10 from deep in that game, finishing with 32 points).
Jason Terry played his college career at the University of Arizona, and while in Tucson he won the 1997 NCAA Tournament. In 1999 he was also named Pac-10 Player of the Year. His teammates with the Wildcats included Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, and Miles Simon and Terry has announced that once his playing career is over he would like to return to Arizona as an assistant coach. He was also a consensus first team All-American during that 1999 season and has kept a good relationship with his school, so they would be foolish to not let him come back as a coach when he’s done with the NBA in two or three years.
After the 1999 season, Terry was drafted with the 10th pick in the 1999 Draft by the Atlanta Hawks. Just two years later, Terry was already the best player on the Hawks, averaging almost 20 points per game while also leading the team in assists, steals and free-throws made. When he was younger he was also more a ball-handling point guard, so that played a role in his rise with the Hawks, but now he’s become more of a traditional score-first shooting guard.
After spending his first five seasons in Atlanta, Terry was traded to the Dallas Mavericks where he spent the rest of his career up until today’s announcement. He was a starter with the Mavs through the 2006-2007 season, and ever since then he has played more of a sixth man role, which he will continue with in Boston. Over the course of his career he’s averaged 16.1 points per game, 4.7 assists, 1.3 steals, and shooting a startling .448 from the field (considering he takes a lot of long shots).
Terry’s role with the Celtics will be as an offensive player off the bench. With Avery Bradley returning next season as the Celtics starting off-guard, they really needed someone who will score the rock and create instant offense off the bench at that position. Terry’s signing also is huge insurance if Ray Allen does decide to head to the Miami Heat (though the Celtics still have more money than the Heat available to try to persuade him to come back). This is a three-year deal that Terry will be signing in the very near future, and whether or not plays out that contract is irrelevant, the Celtics are really just trying to gear up for one final run with Paul Pierce, KG and company next season. As a fan, I love this move. Props to Danny Ainge and his staff to bring in a player as quality as Jason Terry.
Welcome to the squad, Mr. Terry!
If Boston signs Jason Terry and Ray Allen that's 4506 career threes coming off the bench.—
chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) July 03, 2012